What does it mean?
How shall I evaluate the Lord’s words in this great sermon? Jesus taught his disciples on a mountain outdoors. This showed him to be a prophet like Moses but greater than Moses. The kingdom of heaven does not belong to the spiritually proud but only to those who walk humbly and are merciful towards others. The Christian should not be surprised when treated badly in this world. Salt in a wound burns but it also purifies; therefore, the Christian must be in the world but not live like the world. The Christian should be doing good works because this brings glory to the Father God. Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law, so what is the purpose of the law? When Jesus preached, the most visibly-righteous people of the day were the scribes and Pharisees; yet, Jesus told his disciples that their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and the pharisees. So what is the standard? Jesus answers at the end of this chapter by saying, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” But before saying that, he demonstrates that the law goes much deeper than a visible expression but it must be kept perfectly in the heart and mind. First, Jesus declares that how we feel and think about other people matters. Jesus equates anger with murder. We need to be reconciled to other people wether we be the offender or the offended. Second, Jesus declares that having sexual desire for a woman who is not your wife is the same as the physical act of adultery. Marriage is between one woman and one man for life; therefore, divorcing a woman and marrying another is adultery. Third, a persons word should be their bond. Whatever you tell someone, you must do. Do not make vows that you cannot keep but be truthful in everything. Lastly, we are to love all people because all people are created in the image of God. Our love for other human beings is not dependent on how they treat us. You are to love all people regardless because this is how God loves us. When we evaluate the law at the heart level, it should destroy pride and make us walk humbly before the Lord. This is the purpose of the law!
What shall I do?
First, I shall confess that I am not a righteous person. I am a murder, an adulator, a liar and I have dishonored my heavenly Father by not loving everyone created in his image. I shall, therefore, walk humbly before God and before man. I shall be kind to my neighbor, irregardless of how they might treat me. My love for my neighbor shall not be dependent on their love for me. I shall not hate anyone and if I have offended anyone, I shall go and make amends to them. I shall cut off anything that might cause me to look with lustful desire at another. I shall tell the truth at all times. I am not able to live this way; therefore, my faith shall be in God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is my righteousness and the Spirit is my guide.